ROXBURY, NJ – In one of their final acts under the name of "freeholders," the people in charge of Morris County government this week approved spending nearly $240,000 to build a mile-long trail in Roxbury.

Due to a law signed this year, the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders - and all other freeholder boards in the state -will become county commissioners on Jan. 1. Proponents of the name change said the freeholder title came from the 17th century, when only white, male owners of debt-free land were allowed to hold public office.

The Roxbury trail project was approved by the board on Dec. 21 as part of a $619,058 package that included two other trail projects in the county. All the projects were recommended for funding by The Morris County Trail Construction Grant Advisory Committee.

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In Roxbury, the county money will pay for a trail in Ledgewood beginning with the "green" trail in Veterans Park  and ending in a field near the Swim and Sport Club on Emmans Road.

The county grant of $239,820 will fund about three-quarters-of-a-mile of 3-foot-wide dirt trail and about a quarter-mile of 3-foot-wide gravel trail, said officials. Funding comes from the county’s voter-approved Open Space & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

“More than 17 miles of trails have now been established in the five years since voters approved the use of Open Space Trust Fund dollars to establish trail systems throughout Morris County,” said Deputy Freeholder Director Stephen Shaw.  “We’ve witnessed extensive use of these trails and other outdoor resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest addition to the trails continues the investment we have been making in the quality of life we want to preserve and enhance in this county.”

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